Shumlin: IBM plant to keep operating in Essex Junction under sale announcement

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin says IBM's electronics plant in Essex Junction is expected to keep operating in the state as IBM plans to sell its semiconductor production business to GlobalFoundries.

As part of the $1.5 billion deal announced Monday, GlobalFoundries, a chip manufacturing company, is getting IBM's plants in Essex Junction and in in East Fishkill, New York.

There has been uncertainty regarding IBM's future in Vermont for several years. Some workers were laid off last year and earlier this year.

Shumlin said business at the plant is strong and that it is hiring more workers to meet demand; a job fair was held earlier this month seeking manufacturing operators, technicians, mechanics and engineering professionals. Shumlin said he expects that demand to continue and strengthen under GlobalFoundries.

Shumlin said he has spoken with leaders from both IBM and GlobalFoundries, and appreciates that GlobalFoundries plans to continue employment, investment and operations in Vermont.

He said the transaction is subject to federal approvals and will take some months to close.

"I am very confident that IBM and GlobalFoundries will partner with the state of Vermont to make this acquisition positive for our workforce and our economy," Shumlin said in a statement. "I have told them that I will help make this a successful transition, and am committed to forging a strong a strong Vermont partnership with the plant's new owner."

The plant employs about 4,000 people.